Anyone can be a smart marketing expert (as long as you are creative and resourceful). Here are 10 tips to help you become a marketing Guru!

1. WHAT BUSINESS ARE YOU IN (IN 20 SECONDS OR LESS)
What business are you in, in 20 seconds or less. What business are you in? For instance, with my marketing business, IdeaMagic, I say, "We are in the business of creating bigger results from your marketing efforts by providing creative, realistic, and affordable strategies that fit your budget and your personality." It?s pretty clear what business we?re in and I can speak it in less than 20 seconds. Can you?

2. CREATE AN IMAGE OF QUALITY
From your wardrobe to your business card, from your office equipment to your communications systems look at your business from your most critical customer's eye. Are you absolutely sure you are presenting the most professional image you can? If you have a storefront, enter in the way your customers enter. What do they see? What would they say under their breath? What's your sign represent? Does your voice mail sound professional?

3. BENEFITS, NOT FEATURES WIN CLIENTS
Features are merely the basics of the product or service you offer. Benefits are what make your product or service better than those offered by other businesses. Benefits are the reasons why they will buy from you and not your competition.


4. BUILD VISIBILITY - BECOME AN EXPERT IN YOUR INDUSTRY
Write articles for trade and professional publications. Speak at association and networking meetings. Become a SmallBiZ Guru. Even if you receive no fee, the rewards will be the publicity and potential clients you may get from the time invested. Collaborate with other experts in other industries to provide on-line advice or information.

5. USE THE MEDIA AS A WIN/WIN OPPORTUNITY
Develop a press kit containing interesting and pertinent information about you and your business. Make a point of getting to know the key business writers and media people. Find out what they are looking for and be available to provide information on specific topics. Do not exceed one page in your press release and make sure it has a catchy headline. To get a list of media in Arizona the main library business section has the Finder Binder.

6. ADVERTISE IN NEWSLETTERS
Many associations, schools, other professionals publish newsletters that fit the target market you want to reach. In many cases the cost is minimal and you may be able to work out deals to assist in production, distribution or mailing in return for your ad space.

7. ASK FOR REFERRALS (GIVE REWARDS FOR RESULTS)
Offering generous rewards & incentives to your satisfied customers will give people a reason to sell your service or product to their circle of influence. Create a special gift that is personalized for them.


8. MAKE IT EASY TO BECOME YOUR CUSTOMER
Life is complicated. Information is excessive. Choices are numerous. And time is at a premium. Limit the amount of information you distribute as well as the choices you promote. Provide access to you and your company in the most efficient and "customer friendly" manner possible. Deliver product or services overnight if possible.

Never ask for more information or contact than is absolutely necessary. Use easy to order/ easy to return/ easy to pay/ easy to follow processes.

9. GET RESULTS FROM NETWORKING
Do you absolutely love to go to meetings, meet people, and network? How many of you dread it, don't get good results from all the networking you do and really get discouraged? Remember networking is not selling. Networking is relationship building. And networking is about them not about you.

10. FOLLOW-UP
Make it a part of your business routine to mail thank you?s and call your customers within 2 - 4 days of a completion of a job. The most crucial point in the sale is after the sale. It is not our customers responsibility to communicate with us. It is our responsibility to communicate with our customers. If something goes wrong, you will know from the proactive call you've made. If something goes wrong and you are not aware of it, in most cases the customer will just misspeak you to everyone they know. The follow up is the most important investment in your next sale or contract.









From Visionary Business by Marc Allen

Keep learning about your business, from everyone and everything you can. Keep re-inventing your business: It is a never-ending process. Celebrate your own success and the success of others as well. Competition in any negative way and animosity don't even have to exist in your world. Follow your bliss: Do what you love to do, work with passion, live with passion, and you will create a visionary business, in your own absolutely unique way.